Search The AFO

Search for ...
News Stories
Web Pages
Library Resources
Working for and with festivals and events, supporting live arts

Our achievements:

The AFO has been in operation since 1987 when just 6 festivals came together to share ideas and exchange views. We are a growing organisation, in recent years we have gained several new members simply because we are able to answer questions, point people in the right direction and lead the way in helping our members. Some of our achievements both historic and recent are listed here.

  • Since 1987 the Association has grown from its small beginnings to now over 250 members (as of July 2022).

  • We have contributed to major changes in national licensing law (2003 Licensing Act).

  • Negotiating a new reduced % license deal for live performance with PRS for Music.

  • We maintain valuable contact with many other associations linked to our industry like MU, NCASS, PSA, AIF, LN, NAA, CPA and many more.

  • We currently hold the chair of The Events Industry Forum (EIF), a national and government recognised voice of the outdoor events industry.

  • We assisted in writing The Purple Guide and The Purple Guide Lite.

  • We are now leading a revision and update of the guide ready for 2023.

  • We have created a Code of Best Practice which we believe is a good set of guidance for festival organisers.

  • Forming and maintaining the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events.

  • Supporting our members throughout the Covid Crisis (2020-20220).

  • During the Covid crisis we helped negotiate a reduction of VAT for tickets sales down to 5% and continue to lobby for an extension of a cultural VAT reduction through to 2023.

  • Working with LIVE (Live Music Industry Venues and Entertainment), we were able to lobby government for financial support which led to the contribution of over a billion pounds from the Cultural Recovery Fund to a wide variety of Arts organisations.

  • Works with UK Events to identify CIC and CIO codes for the Festival and Event Industry.

  • We assisted EIF in writing Covid Guidance for the Outdoor Events Industry and contributed to the supplementary work focussed on festivals.

  • We have worked with DCMS, EIF and Local Government Association (LGA) in producing guidance for local authorities to view festivals at safey advisory groups.

  • AFO works closely with LIVE workforce which is the new name for Diversity, equality and inclusion. EDI. Headed up by Jane Beese (Manchester Festival), she keeps LIVE abreast of workforce equality issues. In addition AFO is a key member of Vision2025 to keep AFO members up to speed with all things Climate Change and sustainability.

  • We hold regular online meetings for members and non members to offer support, guidance and a chance for discussion on any issues that are foremost during our planning cycles.

  • We are currently negotiating, alongside EIF, with the Local Government Association (LGA) and several other key partners to achieve consistency in Local Authority work with festivals and events.

  • Providing a 24/7 help line for members: we are here whenever needed.

  • And just simply being here for our members.


  • John Wirtz, Sore Fingers Summer School

    "The AFO are our voice with government and play a part in influencing laws and guidelines at a level small individual festival organisers can only dream of."

AFO is proud to be supported by